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Sky Bet League 1

Bramall Lane (ATT 19,941) 29th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: D Deadman

Sheff Utd Sheffield United vs Hartlepool United Hartlepool

Sheff Utd 2

M Doyle (30)
H Maguire (90+5)

ft

Hartlepool 3

S Howard (7, 72)
R Humphreys (54)

Struggling Pools topple Blades

Last Updated: 29/12/12 6:52pm

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Steve Howard: Netted a brace for Pools

Steve Howard: Netted a brace for Pools

Two goals from veteran striker Steve Howard helped Hartlepool to a surprise 3-2 success at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

Hartlepool ended their miserable 22-game winless run and the Blades' unbeaten home league record.

Lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan Ritchie Humphreys also found the net for the visitors, with Michael Doyle and Harry Maguire scoring for the hosts, who began the day top of League One but slip to second place after this shock defeat.

Bottom-of-the-table Pools took a surprise seventh-minute lead when Howard headed home Evan Horwood's pin-point cross.

Buoyed by that early goal, the visitors put the Blades' defence under pressure for a spell with Howard missing the target after being put through on goal. Jonathan Franks also put an effort off target.

The hosts then enjoyed a good spell of possession with Nick Blackman having a shot on the run saved by Scott Flinders.

But a 30th-minute error from Flinders brought the Blades level, Doyle's 25-yard shot slipping through the goalkeeper's hands and into the back of the net.

Humphreys put Hartlepool back in front with a near-post shot after 54 minutes, George Long got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

Howard handed them a two-gaol cushion with a looping header from James Poole's cross in the 72nd minute.

The visitors hung on until stoppage tim when Maguire's 12-yard finish made it 3-2 but it was too little, too late for Danny Wilson's side.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 1

Sky Bet League 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bristol City 46 99
2 Milton Keynes Dons 46 91
3 Preston North End 46 89
4 Swindon Town 46 79
5 Sheffield United 46 71
6 Chesterfield 46 69
7 Bradford City 46 65
8 Rochdale 46 63
9 Peterborough United 46 63
10 Fleetwood Town 46 63
11 Barnsley 46 62
12 Gillingham 46 62
13 Doncaster Rovers 46 61
14 Walsall 46 59
15 Oldham Athletic 46 57
16 Scunthorpe United 46 56
17 Coventry City 46 55
18 Port Vale 46 54
19 Colchester United 46 52
20 Crewe Alexandra 46 52
21 Notts County 46 50
22 Crawley Town 46 50
23 Leyton Orient 46 49
24 Yeovil Town 46 40